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Paying Homage to Khwaja Ahmed Abbas

Paying Homage to  Khwaja Ahmed Abbas
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Day two and three of the six-day long Urdu Drama Festival presented a touching solo act written by Khwaja Ahmed Abbas and a stage presentation of two of his stories, under the banner Abbas ke Do Rang, highlighting his versatility and his socialist leanings as a story teller.

The 26th edition of Urdu Drama Festival hosted by the Delhi Government’s Department of Art, Culture & Languages in association with Urdu Academy is celebrating  the centenary year of two great writers Khwaja Ahmed Abbas and Begum Qudsia Zaidi. While Khwaja Ahmed Abbas was also a celebrated filmmaker and journalist, Qudsia Ziadi was a pioneer of Indian Theatre.

Angrezi ki Ghalatiyon Se Bhara Ek Khat, an Urdu adaptation of the English short story Letar Firaum a Child to Mahtama Gandhi, written by the legendary writer Abbas, was enacted by Pierrot’s Troupe theatre group, on Tuesday evening.

Directed by M Sayeed Alam, the play unfolds with 12 year old Anwar Ali writing a letter to Mahatma Gandhi immediately after the latter’s assassination. The letter captures the collective guilt of a nation for the death of Bapu. The young Anwar’s letter is full of spelling and grammatical related mistakes. However, this poorly composed letter highlights the significance of Gandhi Ji’s vision of a united and peaceful nation.

Under Abbas ke do rang the first story, My Son Is My Enemy, revolved around a lawyer who transforms from a revolutionary freedom fighter into a wealth and power chasing professional, and finds himself pitted against his idealist son, who still stands for his father’s lost ideals.

The second presentation Ajanta is a story of two lovers who flee the brutal partition violence in Bombay and fed up with senseless killing all around find solace and peace in the artistic brilliance of the caves of Ajanta.  

The first three days of the festival were dedicated to the plays of or on Abbas while the last three days will be dedicated to the plays scripted by Zaidi.

On the fourth day of the festival (Thursday), Jaan Har, a play written by Begum Qudsia Zaidi and directed by Sheikh Khairuddin will be performed by the Living Theatre Group. The fifth day (Friday) Qudsia’s Khalid ki Khala, directed by Chander Shekhar Sharma will be performed by Mask Players Art Group.

The festival will end on Saturday with Qudsia’s play Dhoban ko Kapre Diye, directed by Danish Iqbal and presented by the Social Pride Welfare Society.

When: On till 18 October
Where: Sri Ram Centre

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